What happened next? (Reflections on the Business Administrator Apprenticeship)

November 2021

The Apprenticeships Team are so pleased that two of our brilliant apprentices, Isobel Stokoe and Ellie Knight, have completed their Level 3 Business Administrator Apprenticeships with flying colours, gaining the highest possible Distinction grades.

We got in touch with Isobel and Ellie to hear their thoughts on their apprenticeships and how they are continuing their careers with the University.

Isobel Stokoe

Isobel Stokoe, HR Administrator, University of Oxford

Isobel Stokoe, HR Administrator, University of Oxford


Which department did you do your apprenticeship in, and what did your role involve?

I did my Level 3 Business Administrator apprenticeship in the UAS HR Team which sits within central Human Resources. My role was primarily focused on recruitment and involved a variety of activities such as preparing job adverts, sending interview invitations, preparing offer letters and contracts and inputting new starter information on to the University’s HR Information System.  

 Why did you chose the apprenticeship?

I chose my apprenticeship because I was very keen to begin a career in Human Resources and the apprenticeship seemed like a great route.

 What was your favourite part of the apprenticeship?

My favourite part of the apprenticeship was the Business Professionals course that Abingdon and Witney College provided as part of the apprenticeship. It was great to gain new skills and be exposed to different areas such as Change Management and Project Management. It was also a great way to meet other apprentices who were either working for the University or in other organisations around the county.

 What are your next steps? How has the apprenticeship helped you with this?

During my apprenticeship, I successfully applied for a permanent HR Administrator role within my team. I was able to start my new role whilst completing my apprenticeship and would not have had the skills or experience necessary without my apprenticeship. Since completing my apprenticeship, I have started a new role within the UAS HR Team as a Senior HR Administrator. My apprenticeship provided me with lots of great skills that I am applying in my new role.

 What advice would you give to an employer thinking about hiring an apprentice?

I would highly recommend hiring an apprentice as it is a fantastic way to develop and nurture new talent!

Ellie Knight

Which department did you do your apprenticeship in, and what did your role involve?

I did my apprenticeship in the Finance Division. My job role involved a variety of different tasks, here are a few:

  • Running monthly probation and absence reports and sending reminders to line managers. 
  • I managed the retention schedule for the division.
  • I completed new starter and leaver tasks when a colleague starts with us or leaves us.
  • Ordering equipment for colleagues working from home and working in the office.
  • Ordering stationery, kitchen consumables and other items needed for the office. 
  • I managed the Director of Finance’s diary. This included scheduling meetings, rearranging meetings and liaising with other PAs to arrange meetings.
  • Distributed a communication to the division every Monday. 

Why did you choose the apprenticeship?

I chose this apprenticeship as it seemed like the perfect job for me. I am an organised and efficient person so I knew that Administration would be an ideal industry for me. I found this apprenticeship on the GOV.UK and everything about it seemed ideal.

What was your favourite part of the apprenticeship?

It’s hard to pick a favourite but I really enjoyed my 10 college days during September to December 2020. Two of these days were on-campus and it was lovely to meet other apprentices and collaborate in a learning environment. I felt really motivated after each of these days and it was a great feeling to have.

What are your next steps? How has the apprenticeship helped you with this?

In January 2022, I will be starting a Level 3 HR apprenticeship. I will remain in the Finance Division with the same manager and team. This apprenticeship has developed some key skills that will benefit me during my next apprenticeship. To name a few: communication skills, problem-solving skills and organisational skills.

What advice would you give to an employer thinking about hiring an apprentice?

Employing an apprentice will be beneficial for everyone. They will become a valuable member of the team and become someone that everyone can rely on. 
Apprentices can also use social media to share achievements, events and overall give great publicity. This will attract more potential apprentices and show that working for your company as an apprentice will be a great experience.

Any final thoughts? 

Overall, I have really enjoyed my apprenticeship and I am glad I chose this career path. I am a lot more confident and independent that I was prior to my apprenticeship and have developed multiple skills. I am looking forward to the future and beginning my HR apprenticeship. 

Ellie was also shortlisted for the 'Shining Star' apprentice award at the Oxfordshire Apprenticeship Awards 2021.


It felt amazing to have been shortlisted and to have been recognised for my work. I recognise how great of an achievement it was to be a finalist and how proud it has made me feel.

- Ellie Knight


Business Administration Apprenticeship 

The level 3 business administration apprenticeship is one of the most popular programmes for apprentice roles at the University.

We work with Abingdon & Witney college to run this course for us.